The Draft National River Ganga Bill, 2018 proposes
to create a management structure that will supervise the health of River Ganga.
The bill provides for a number of restrictions
to ensure the “uninterrupted, ecological flow” of the river. These are: a) ban
the construction of jetties, ports or “permanent hydraulic structures” in the
Ganga, unless permitted by the National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority. National
Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was declared as an Authority in 2016. It was
provided with powers to issue directions and also to exercise the powers under
the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
The bill provides for the constitution of Ganga
Protection Corps as an armed forces of the union. The Ganga Protection Corps is proposed to
be empowered to arrest or caused to be arrested for offence under the Act, and
to take the person to the nearest police station.
Cognizable offences marked in the draft Bill
include: a) construction activities causing obstruction in the river; b) withdrawal
of ground water for industrial or commercial consumption from the land fronting
the river and its tributaries; c) commercial fishing or aqua culture in the
river and its tributaries; d) discharging untreated or treated sewage into the